Superfood of the Month: Mushrooms

Although mushrooms can be found in the produce section of the grocery, they aren’t a fruit or a vegetable. They have a great deal of nutritional value and are full of micronutrients. There are more than 70,000 types of mushrooms, but only around 250 species are edible.

Benefits
• Mushrooms absorb vitamins, minerals and nutrients from plants and soil. On trees, they often soak up nutrients that have been building for decades, creating powerhouse supplements.
• Mushrooms are low in carbohydrates and high in fiber. They are a good source of B-vitamins, iron and selenium.
• Mushrooms are naturally low in sodium and high in potassium. A 3-ounce portabella cap has more potassium than a banana. They have essentially no fat and no cholesterol.
• The best news about mushrooms is a powerful micronutrient called ergothioneine, an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Cooking releases this powerful nutrient from the mushroom cells.
• Mushrooms have high levels of polyphenols that give them a higher antioxidant level than green pepper and zucchini.
• Commonly available mushrooms like white button mushrooms, portabella mushrooms, shitakes and creminis may contain very small amounts of agaritine, which may be carcinogenic in extremely high doses. Cooking removes the agaritine, so try to eat cooked mushrooms.

Recommendations
• If you buy canned mushrooms, be careful of added sodium. Mushrooms naturally have no sodium. Choose fresh or dried mushrooms when possible.
• Store mushrooms unwashed in a paper bag in the fridge. If bought packaged in plastic, transfer them to a paper bag or cover the tray with a paper towel.
• When choosing mushrooms at the market, look for dry mushrooms with smooth caps, firm gills and a fresh smell.
• Don’t soak mushrooms in water. They are very porous and absorb water quickly.
• Clean mushrooms with a quick rinse and wipe with a damp cloth.
• Don’t peel mushrooms. Cut off the firm, dark areas of the stems.
• Avoid eating mushrooms raw – even if they are on the salad bar. Cooking unlocks more nutrients and safely degrades any trace of agaritine.

Detecting A 5mm Tumor with 3-D Mammography

Delores Stamper is a well-known face at Saluda Shoals Park in Columbia. Last year, doctors at Lexington Medical Center discovered a 5mm tumor in her left breast during a 3-D mammogram. The advanced technology helped find Delores’s breast cancer before she ever would have felt a lump. She shares her story and advocates for 3-D mammography in this WLTX “Buddy Call” report with news anchor Darci Strickland.

Addressing Colon Cancer

Colon cancer is one of the most deadly cancers in America, but also the one of the most treatable when detected early. Unfortunately, the number of people in their 20s and 30s diagnosed with colon cancer is increasing. And, each year, 2,000 South Carolinians are diagnosed with colon cancer, and 800 die from the disease.

March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month. In this WLTX interview, Dr. Edward Jakubs of Southern Surgical Group talks about risk factors, prevention and screening.

For more information about Dr. Jakubs and Southern Surgical Group, visit SouthernSurgicalGroup.com.